Uploaded by Paige Ramage

Proposal title: A qualitative study investigating and identifying the transition from historical mummifying bereaving practices to Christian grieving processes in the Banguet area of Luzon, Philippines.

Name: Paige Elizabeth Ramage
Number: 18942139
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Supervisors: Trevor Horgan, Wendy Mee, Julie Andrews and Minerva Chaloping-March
Proposal title: A qualitative study investigating and identifying the transition from historical
mummifying bereaving practices to Christian grieving processes in the Banguet area of Luzon,
Date: 24/12/2018
Research Question:
The extended production of research into this area, both online and in paper form, in recent
times poses the question whether their have been burial and commemorative practices to
replace the death rituals of the North Luzon people.
The spread of Christianity post Spanish occupation within the Philippines has caused the
abandonment of the ancient tradition of mummification among the people of the
Ethanolingustic group Ibaloi and Bontoc province. What has been the impact on the grieving
process of these indigenous Filipinos?
Aim of this study: This study aims to explore the various methodologies and reasons behind
the mummification process of the dead indigenous within the Banguet area pre Spanish
occupation. This may identify areas of bereavement within this ethnic population after this
practice was abandoned post wide spread of Christianity.
The research method chosen and best suited to this study is descriptive qualitative research.
The proposed method for data and information collection is open- ended questions to the
key informant indigenous people surrounding the Kabayan burial caves which also will be
recorded to their knowledge and will maintain accurate accounts of information given.
In depth research and further study at the Banguet state University (BSU) and the University
of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) will also be conducted specifically at the Cordillera
Ethnograhic Museum (BSU) and with the department of Social anthropology (UPB). The
internet will also be a main field of inquiry and the primary research tool in this investigation.
It is hoped that this research will add to the scarce amount of information about the Kabayan
fire mummies within Banguet and identify new grieving practices that have replaced the
sacred old mummifying processes of ethnic people within this area.
The Kabayan mummies of the Banguet municipality, situated in the mountain provinces of
North Luzon , the Philippines have a long history dating back to the 14th and 19th centuries
(Balancod, 2018), (Beckett et al, 2017) and (Picpican, 2003).
It is only of recent times that Anthropologists, scientists and historians alike have taken an
interest to this time old tradition due to the discovery of the burial caves by mountain
climbers in the 1980s (Balancod, 2018), (Beckett et al, 2017) and (Picpican. 2003).
It has been found that there is a relationship between the practices of people and aspects of
their belief system (Cohen, 2000), (Celino, 1990) and (Canilao, 2013). Due to the interruption
due to acculturation from the Spaniards, the cohesion of the indigenous culture of the
people of the Banguet province was altered. The disruption of these death rituals has
resulted in the creation of new traditions (Celino, 1990) and (Canilao, 2013).
Existing research into the death rituals around the north of Luzon island have previously
focused mainly on either the scientific aspects of the physical process of preserving the dead
(Balangcod, 2018), (Abinion et al, 2013) and has extensively focused on the historic and
archaeological aspects (Beckett et al, 2017), (Picpican, 2003), (Celino, 1990), (Canilao, 2013)
and (Barbara, 2013).
Beckett et al, Ed, Celino, Canilao and Barbara’s research is however very important as it
provides contextual evidence and history into various aspects of this relatively unresearched
area of Filipino history.
Further Scientific research aiming to understand and further simplify the mummification
practices has been published by Balangcod and Albinion, which both give an outline to the
main factors leading to the long preservation of the dead.
Balancod, T 2017, ‘A glimpse of the fire mummies of Kabayan, Benguet, Luzon, Philippines
and the role of plants associated with the mummification process’ Indian Journal of
Traditional Knowledge, vol.17, no 2, pp. 307-313
Beckett, R, Conlogue, G, Abinion, O, Salvador-Amores, A & Piombino-Mascali, D (2017),
THE PHILIPPINES’, Papers on Anthropology, vol 26, no 2, pp 24-37
Picpican, I (2003), ‘The Igorot mummies : A socio-cultural and historical treatise’ Quezon City,
CORDILLERANS’, PhD Education, Faculty of the graduate School University of Baguio, Baguio,
Canilao, M (2013), ‘ Three Burial Coffin Traditions in Upland Ilocos Sur’, The Cordilera Review,
Barbara, S (2013), ‘Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines’, PhD
Archaeology, Graduate school of University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines.